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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Kirk Gibson returns to work, sets rotation

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — What a gamer!

A day removed from knee surgery, Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was back at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick.

“I feel great; a lot better than I did,” he said on Wednesday.

Gibson underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

“It was something that I needed to get taken care of,” he said. “It was probably five to seven days before we went to Australia. I just had a little ache in my knee and then something appeared to go drastically different.

“I was hurting bad.”

Gibson was not in the dugout as the Diamondbacks resumed Cactus League play with a game against the Chicago Cubs. Bench coach Alan Trammell took over the managerial duties.

Gibson, though he’s been told to take his time, is expected to be back in uniform Thursday.

The Diamondbacks play three more spring training games then host the Cubs for exhibition games on Friday and Saturday at Chase Field.

The regular season resumes on Monday with a four-game series against the San Francisco Giants.

Gibson announced right-hander Brandon McCarthy will start the opener and be followed by Wade Miley and Trevor Cahill in games two and three, respectively.

“That will be the first three for sure,” he said. “Unresolved on the next two. Kind of see how Bronson (Arroyo) throws, see how he continues to progress.”

Arroyo, who until recently had been battling a stiff back, is scheduled to pitch Saturday. According to Gibson, he may start the series finale against the Giants or the next day, April 4, in Colorado.

There has been no decision yet on a fifth starter; however, Randall Delgado appears to be the most likely candidate to fill the spot vacated due to the injury to Patrick Corbin.

Gibson decided to hold off on dealing with his own injury until returning from Australia. He underwent an MRI on Monday and had the one-hour procedure Tuesday.

Gibson walked into his daily briefing with reporters with the aid of crutches, which he said he’ll need for two to three days.

“I’d never make it through the season (having to deal with the pain in the knee). So, got it taken care of and I’m good,” he said, before quickly adding with a smile, “let’s talk about the players.”